Why Minimalism, KonMari and 'Capsule' Trends Need To Stop + Tips For Smart Consuming

From the beginning of this year I’ve been bumping into capsule wardrobes, project pans, minimalism challenges and no-buy promises more than ever. I thought I’d share some thoughts on this topic as I feel quite strongly about it - mainly what annoys me about this trend. Please share your thoughts in the comments if you feel similarly - or against!

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Reasons Minimalism Is So Popular Right Now?

I’d like to believe it’s because of the environment. Global warming is real, we simply cannot keep on consuming and wasting this much if we want to have a future on this little rock. But in media, I think minimalism is mostly just very trendy: Marie Kondo and her tidying rules were all the craze a couple of years ago, but now minimalism is also constantly spoken and pushed by bloggers and Youtubers. Where as shopping hauls were super popular video concept, now people post declutters and purges.

Why Am I Against “Capsule“ Collections and Declutters?

There’s a reason why I feel sceptic, sometimes even against the whole capsule concept and declutters. If these terms are unfamiliar to you, a capsule makeup collection (or wardrobe etc.) is a way to curate your stash, for example separating and storing seasonal items, discarding unused ones. Perhaps you limit yourself to a certain number of products and only shopping for a need. Decluttering one’s makeup stash (or wardrobe, cupboard, etc.) is getting rid of and donating unused items, also discarding things that have gone bad. That doesn’t sound so bad, just organizing?

The problem is the common mind-set to first discard and then create new “needs” to (re)purchase. We rarely just let go of unused items and show more love to our old favorites. Nope, there comes the need of replacing “missing items” as seasons, trends and hypes change. I see a similar trend with declutters - one shouldn’t just mindlessly discard old or unused items, but make a point why there’s so much excess in the first place! With all the new available room, one should refrain from shopping and filling it with new.

I started wondering if minimalism is just a trend for wealthy people, making you appear as a better person because because it’s trendy VS. being a mindful consumer. The things aren’t “weighing you down” but your problem with overconsumption. One popular Finnish blogger spoke how she has the goal of letting go 1000 things (excluding beauty items) - if I did the same, I’d be living in an empty flat.

My Tips for Mindful (Minimal) Consuming

I’m all about enjoying what I have, my problem is the endless decluttering, discarding and giving – that can lead to more consumption. In Finland we have a saying “The poor can’t afford to buy cheap” (“Köyhällä ei ole varaa ostaa halpaa”), which is what I stand by: only shopping for a need, saving and investing on quality items that don’t nee replacing right away. This method is also environmentally conscious as you’ll be buying less and only long-lasting items. A good quality item can often be repaired, fixed or modified.

  • When decluttering, remember to recycle accordingly!

  • Do self-searching why do you shop: is it for a need, because of boredom, sadness, etc. feelings you “deserve” something new

  • Stop referring to your items (bags, makeup, clothes, whatever) as a “collection”. They are items meant to be used, not just collected. Unless, you’re a collector of course.

  • Being a minimalist doesn’t mean asceticism, but enjoying and using what you already have.

  • Rotate your items to get the most out of them, store when not needed.

  • A no buy 6-12 months is a great way to inspect yourself as a consumer and make the most out of what you already have.

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Other Similar Trends To Follow

If you want to take a part in the “minimalist” game, I recommend two other trends: the anti-haul and no buy. An anti-haul is a concept created by drag artist Kimberly Clark where you use hyperbole to share why you are not shopping (new) makeup/product releases. We all have seen gazillion neutral palettes and red lipsticks, not that there was anything wrong with either of them, but this sort of humorous critical thinking raises awareness if we need all the new stuff.

The second trend is a no buy for X period of time, which I did myself in the Fall of 2017 by not shopping for new beauty items for a 1/2 year. I also have an article on How To Reduce Beauty Shopping. A no buy challenge encourages you to enjoy what you already have, question you actually need all what you want. I recommend checking Lisa Eldridge’s lovely #buynothing everyday makeup video where she focuses on techniques with what you may already have VS creating the need to purchase new.

Final thoughts

Don’t get me wrong, I think moderate minimalism is a great thing. Especially in the beauty world, who isn’t tired of brands pushing out new but similar products, new collections from left and right or accidentally purchasing dupes on what you already have. I’m all about enjoying my stash, repurposing and rotating items (do you want an article on that?) and letting go what I don’t use, but I try to do it mindfully. What are your thoughts? Are you a person who likes to declutter things or have you planned a no-buy?